Practice interview – Hypnosis in the dental practice

Veit Meßmer in conversation with Eberhard Mathes

Where did you receive your training in dental hypnosis and how long have you been working with it?

We both went through the Curri in Stuttgart together in 2004. That’s how long we’ve known each other! During my training I started to work with hypnosis. The challenge of taking up the hypnosis treatments and discussing them in supervision with Gudrun Schmierer and the group was extremely helpful!

Do other practice members also have training in hypnosis or hypnosis assistance?

Yes, one of my colleagues, who I consider to be particularly hypnotised because she practices Reiki, among other things. She was a weekend with Christian Rauch. With her I prefer to do formal hypnosis treatments.

How does the cooperation work in practice?

In most treatments hypnosis is indirectly involved. Therefore I trained my assistance in Pacing and Leading as well as in hypnotic communication. She puts her hand on the shoulder of the patient, lets him breathe calmly and relaxed into his stomach, announces when there is “something bothering”, and praises him again and again. With children she knows the current films and characters better than I do, supports me with the “traffic light arm” and praises our little patients again and again. Loving, benevolent and gentle contact with the patients in a trusting and relaxed atmosphere is important to all of us. In regular team meetings and supervisions we work on problems and frictions and how we can work together harmoniously. The group dancing I lead, at the beginning of each session, is supportive.

What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?

I grew up on a farm. So I love nature and like to move outside. Accordingly, I read many books about animals and wanted to become a behavioural scientist, like Konrad Lorenz.

What are your favorite hypnotic inductions?

If the patient chooses a formal hypnosis, I perform the three-word induction. However, when treating most patients, I perform indirect hypnosis: I let them breathe deeper into the abdomen and release tension as they exhale – “let go”! In this way we accompany our patients, also through touch, benevolently and lovingly. I have gained years of experience with this breathing control myself through yoga and meditation.

Why don’t you tell me about a hypnotic failure?

I thought it was a terrible failure when the patient started choking during the hypnosis treatment. “It can’t be,” I thought. Fortunately I had recorded the session on video and was able to discuss it with Gudrun Schmierer in the supervision. Gudrun said that such incidents can happen. What was decisive was that we caught the patient well through our pacing and that she could walk in a good condition at the end of the treatment. That took away my fear of incidents. Actually, there are no failures at all, only chances to develop further!

If you won 10 million euros, what would you do?

Then I would probably sell my practice and set up a dental health station in a slum in Peru or Bolivia. As a dentist, I had two years of very good experience with such a project in Santiago de Chile. I am still in good contact with him, so that something like this could be realized. What advice would you give to beginners who want to integrate hypnosis into their practice? Even before I started putting patients into a trance, I discussed hypnosis CDs with Albrecht Schmierer’s texts, such as “At the dentist without stress”, and trained the hypnotic language. Then it was easier for me to use hypnosis. I would also like to recommend beginners to look for a hypnosis quality circle near them. Here like-minded people meet for friendly exchange, to support each other, to share experiences and suggestions. Together with Christian Leonhardt I lead the Würzburg Hypnosis Quality Circle, whose meetings are always very enriching for everyone.

What kind of patients don’t you like to treat?

Patients who I experience as rejecting, who know everything better and who just “want to have” or who stand out because of their difficult psyche. But for such “interesting” patients there is the Barlint-Group, which meets three times a year. These cases are dealt with there under expert guidance.

Do you also use self-hypnosis?

Sometimes I sit down in my office during a treatment break, put my feet up, listen to trance music like “the sound of the sea”, and thus walk in my thoughts to the Pacific Ocean of Chile. I had another experience in self hypnosis two years ago, when I had to lie down a lot because of a femoral neck fracture: my family experienced me in a kind of “continuous dance” – again and again I visualized that the bones grow together like fine roots, that healing happens, that I am held by benevolence and love. This kind of self-hypnosis was like a continuation of my 30 years of practice in non-objective meditation in the style of Zen. I also practice the latter every morning when I retreat to a quiet corner on my meditation cushion and try to let go of my thoughts and feelings in order to be completely in the here and now. This is a trance-like state!

What do you prefer to do in your free time?

Besides meditating regularly, I often cycle, hike, photograph and read a good book in the evening. My favourite books include: “Das wise Herz” by Jack Kornfield, “Die Welle ist das Meer” by Willigis Jäger and the Würzburg thrillers by Günter Huth.

Do you also use turbo induction? If so, for which patients?

The turbo induction as a directive type does not correspond to me so much, which is why I hardly use it.

Has dealing with hypnosis changed you? If so, how?

The application of hypnosis was exactly the right thing for me after many years of meditation practice, a kind of “continuation”. Now I know how to treat my patients benevolently and how to help them overcome their fears. I can help them to experience the treatment situation as pleasant and stress-free as possible. For me, this is a constant process of learning and experience. “Life means change” (Willigis Jäger).

Source: German Journal for Dental Hypnosis (DZzH), Edition: 1/2012 (18th year), ISSN: 1866-3362, Publisher: DGZH e.V.

Dental practiceEberhard MathesDorfäcker 1097084 Würzburg, Germany

Phone: 0931 – 68830E-Mail: [email protected]

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